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Milan and Kay Yerkovich’s book “How We Love” gives us a great picture of how dysfunctional attachments can cause painful patterns in relationships. Their theory introduces the 5 Love Styles that we use to cope with past pain which can often sabotage our chances for a healthy and fulfilling relationship. One is the Avoider.

The avoider will often be private and like his/ her own space. They are rarely emotional or needy and avoid issues in order to keep everyone happy. Their spouse often complains that they “won’t connect”.

Avoiders ask for little in the relationship, but also tend to give little affection and are distant with others. They are happiest when they don’t have to connect, when others don’t want much from them emotionally, and when others are happy. They are often self-sufficient and high achievers.

An avoider needs to realize that they are not “fine” and start connecting with themselves emotionally in order to invest emotionally in the relationship. The range of emotion includes more than just fine. They need to experience all of them- positive and negative!

An avoider needs to quit thinking it is all their spouse’s fault and look in the mirror to own that they contribute to the dysfunction too. When an avoider shifts their emotional response and engages, rather than avoiding, conflict will decrease and emotional needs will be met.

Do you know any avoiders? For more info check out “How We Love” by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.